Oct 23, 2021
Privacy advocates are alarmed at the spread of license plate reading technology being adopted by private citizens trying to protect their neighborhoods by reading and monitoring every car that drives through. It has become a growth business, even for Alabama Power:
CBS42 in Birmingham reported in September of last year:
Birmingham, Ala., (WIAT) — The Birmingham City Council approved a contract to install and maintain 10 Flock Safety License Plate Recognition cameras within the city.
According to the agreement with Alabama Power, the power company will install and maintain 10 Flock Safety License Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras and solar panels to aid law enforcement and enhance public safety in certain strategic areas.
The city entered into an initial pilot program on Oct. 2, 2018, for a term of five years, and Tuesday’s vote amended that by adding 10 additional cameras.
Alabama Power will maintain and install the cameras at an estimated monthly cost of $2,291.67.
The Alabama Legislature considered but rejected one bill governing the cameras earlier this year. It was an attempt to limit the use of the camera data, requiring it to be destroyed after a certain time period. It died in the 2021 regular session.
The Washington Post reports today about controversy in a Colorado neighborhood because of the cameras..
The LPR cameras are controversial, at least in the eyes of people and organizations concerned about privacy issues, like The Electronic Frontier Foundation.
At least 16 states have adopted similar laws, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures.
There are several ways to foil the cameras, including an inexpensive tag cover sold via Amazon.
Oct 22, 2021
In case you had forgotten, the GOP OPPOSES VACCINE MANDATES!
Statement from Chairman Wahl:“Vaccine mandates are fundamentally flawed. No entity has the right to spy on a citizen’s personal health information, and requiring someone to disclose their vaccine status or be fired is the very definition of discrimination. Individuals and families should have the freedom to make their own medical decisions without fear of a government mandate.
Question for the chair:
Did you vaccinate your children against the various childhood diseases? We know they work. Would you support people who decide not to vaccinate their kids? i.e. Do you oppose those mandates? Will you introduce and support legislation making those vaccines optional too?
The final section of the ship is almost ready to be loaded onto the barge for transport to a recycling center in Louisiana, just over two years after she ran aground off the port in Georgia.
Because of damage to the bottom of that section, a special sleeve will be constricted to hold it on the barge.
Hundreds of card were removed from the eight sections the ship was cut into. You can see some crushed vehicles at the bottom of the photo above.
Investigators determined improper loading of vehicles led to instability, which caused the ship to turn over as she turned.
From a NY Times Opinion Column:
"Next Friday, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to meet to consider whether to hear appeals from two libel cases in which the plaintiffs seek to persuade the justices to reconsider the single greatest First Amendment victory for the press in American history.
Two of the court’s justices, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, already have expressed a readiness to do just that, a disturbing turn that could weaken speech protections and threaten the country’s free and robust press."
That libel decision involved an ad placed in the Times by an Alabama Civil Rights group. The decision in the resulting lawsuit is remembered as Sullivan vs The New York Times, and it is the basis for freedom of the press/media today.
FULL NY TIMES COLUMN IS HERE.
...and they plan to be finished with the job in time for the 75th anniversary of the original 1948 ribbon cutting, on August 31, 2023.
Although they are adding air conditioning, the lack of it has not stopped decades of concerts and other events from happening at Garrett. For example:1974
Elvis performed at the Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery, Alabama. 8:30 p.m
The crowd was 11328 and Elvis wore the famous 1973 American eagle suit with the second belt
This show was attended by Governor George Wallace.
Watch a CBS 8 story about the project HERE.
BTW: The facility is named for W. W. Garrett, the first chairman of the Alabama Agricultural Board.
....er, not that there are many of those in Montgomery.
But national climate/weather experts are predicting a warmer than usual Winter for the Southeast:
"Areas in the South and along the East Coast are forecast to see warmer-than-average temperatures this winter, with the greatest probability in the Southeast, according to the NOAA. The weather cycle may bring below-average weather conditions to southeast Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and eastward to the Northern Plains."
See the full CBS story HERE.
Oct 21, 2021
President Biden's package would allow the government negotiate the price WE TAXPAYERS PAY for prescription drugs for Medicaid/Medicare/ Veteran's care etc. but that is opposed by republicans and some Democrats:
Read Bernie Sanders comment in the N.Y. Times story:
“It would mean that the pharmaceutical industry, which has 1,500 paid lobbyists, the pharmaceutical industry, which made $50 billion in profits last year, the pharmaceutical industry, which pays its executives huge compensation packages, and which is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat this legislation, will have won,” Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent and Budget Committee chairman, said on Wednesday. “And I intend to not allow that to happen.”
This measure would REDUCE THE COST OF GOVERNMENT! Yet there are Republicans who oppose it???? Please explain.
From a Kay Ivey Facebook Post:
Read some of the comments following her post!
Oct 20, 2021
The Appalachian Region has been mentioned as a potential location for a $400-Billion city planned by Billionaire former Walmart executive Marc Lore.
Hey! That includes us!
Business Insider and USA Today describe the city this way:
In renderings of Telosa created by the prestigious Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the streets are filled with robots and autonomous vehicles, there's a high-speed rail system, and a futuristic skyscraper - dubbed "Equitism Tower," according to USA Today - dominates the skyline.
As far as a location, desert states to the West are mentioned most prominently, but still, Alabama is one of the 13 states in Appalachia, so, why not?
Oct 19, 2021
The Republicans in Alabama want to attract African- American members.
It's not the first time they've tried, and it won't be the last.
"Kenneth Paschal’s historic victory is just the beginning for Republican African-Americans in the State of Alabama. I am here to tell you that the Alabama Republican Party is proud to support and encourage minorities, and I am looking forward to introducing the public to such an outstanding group of public servants and activists," said ALGOP Chairman John Wahl.
(from a GOP News Release)
Watch the latest salvo tomorrow in a Birmingham news conference.
A reminder in advance: The Alabama Democrats of yesterday (George Wallace etc) became the Republicans of today. So if African-Americans remember their treatment in the 1960's fondly, sure, join.
“I have no regrets,” he said.
This is a story about Tommy Tuberville, but it’s also a story about Jan. 6, and what comes next for pro-Trump Republicans who want to forget what happened last winter while remaining loyal to a leader who won’t let it go.
Coach, like most members of his party, is not dwelling on what happened on Insurrection Day. But if a new senator casts a vote at odds with the very foundation of democracy, what makes him think he can just move on?
A Major Washington Post article about Alabama's Junior Senator is HERE.
Oct 18, 2021
".........one of the grand scientific projects of the 21st Century............"
The unfortunately named James Webb space telescope will be launched on December 18th. It was just unpacked from the custom shipping container that carried it to the launch site.
Read the BBC story HERE.
- Katie Couric omitted quotes from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she “wanted to protect” her.
- Ginsburg said the protesters (Colin Kaepernick et al) demonstrated “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”
- Couric wrote about the interview in her upcoming book.